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Too much media buzz might have made Shahzad flee

world Updated: May 12, 2010 12:39 IST
Faisal Shahzad

Excessive and specific information being broadcast by the media about Faisal Shahzad in the hours following the failed bombing attempt by the Pakistani-American might have prompted him to try to flee, a top police official has said.

Shahzad, 30, was captured trying to escape from New York on an Emirates flight to Dubai with Pakistan as his final destination.

He was apprehended minutes before the plane took off.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters, that "before the individual was taken into custody, there was a lot of specific information about who we were looking for," and "there's some indication this information made the individual leave".

"It makes no sense to me to give specific information that can warn someone that we're looking for them," CNN quoted him as saying.

Kelly, however, noted that this surplus information had not been given by the police but was leaked.

He said despite the fact that the investigation was ongoing, "inordinate amount of information (was) given out by somebody".

The police commissioner also drew parallels between the several cases of homegrown terrorists that have surfaced in the US like Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi, arrested for planning terror strikes.

A few common threads that emerged are -- a middle-class family, use of the Internet, no previous criminal records, but the radicalisation seeped in due to overseas travel and interactions with extremists.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the present investigation implicates the Pakistani Taliban in the foiled Times Square terror attack.

After claiming responsibility for the attack initially, the Pakistan-Taliban stated that they were not involved in this attempt, but maintained that they had sent suicide bombers to the US to carry out attacks.

Having waived his arraignments rights, Shahzad is cooperating with the authorities and had not appeared in court on Tuesday.